I was very impressed by Paul Allen’s ebook entitled Should I Stay Or Should I Go? Paul is a journo, living (lucky thing) in Catalonia, in Spain, and his book is no less than I would have expected from someone who has been trained to be thorough. Moreover, he has the proof and the statistics to back up his advice. If you are thinking of moving abroad this book will help you turn over every stone and consider the reality of your proposal. It really is a terrific book and, to my mind, the first of its kind. Find out more at his website expatliving 101 here.

Stuck in the middle of your writing project? Find out how I cured my block once and for all with some unusual remedies here in my monthly column for The Hague Online. I am the website’s writer in residence.

The sight of the tulips brightening up my garden is a reminder to me that spring is here and it’s time for a spring clean of my priorities. I bet you are the same. You start each year with good intentions. You promise yourself that you will only focus on the things that make you happy/earn you money/meet your values. And then, as life gets busier, you end up agreeing to do things you maybe shouldn’t and suddenly find yourself with a To Do list bigger than my ironing mountain – and that’s saying something.

There is no time like the present for taking a closer look at all those things you have to do and asking yourself whether they all continue to serve you well. Do they still fulfil your needs? A chance meeting last week put me firmly back in the saddle.

Last week, I went to the London Book Fair and left behind my gargantuan To Do list, vowing I’d sort it out on my return. And then I met Alison Clark. Alison Clark is a fellow author at Lean Marketing Press. She has written a book called Stop Flogging a Dead Horse. I was immediately grabbed by the title and within minutes Alison and I had swapped a copy of my Find Your Passion book for a copy of hers. I read it from cover to cover on the flight home and am now clear about what must stay and what must go.

It’s simple really. If you keep on doing the same old thing over and over and continue to get the same, mediocre, results, then you may be flogging a dead horse. It is time dismount, let that idea or business stream or associateship go out to pasture, remove its tack and walk away.

Alison’s book is full of tips on how to identify when you are wasting your time on certain projects and how to extricate yourself from bad relationships and move on without making any enemies.

So, you are agreed that you may need to identify your dead horses and move on, right? But how do you know when a horse is a good bet? That an idea has the potential to gallop ahead towards wealth, happiness and success?

While on the subject of horses, I may have the answer. If you have ever ridden a horse you will know that the horse knows when its rider is scared, it knows that if you lose your focus it can get the better of you. It’s the same with a business idea. It is only when you relax in the saddle and allow your instinct to take over that you can move as one with your horse. When it feels right you just know. The wind gets into hair and you find yourself sitting up straight and you know you can conquer the world. When you allow yourself to respond naturally to whatever comes your way, the universe has a habit of giving you clues that show you when you have got it right.

You know how it is. Since I changed my website and became simply JoParfitt.com the number of enquiries I receive every day has increased. Since I decided to offer a six hour mentoring service rather than a straightforward hourly rate my new client conversion rate has soared. Since I decided to offer to publish their books interest has doubled. You see, I’ve stopped fighting for business in areas that I know should be lucrative but frankly aren’t and instead I’ve decided to go with the flow and watch what comes my way. Because, when you take the time to go for a slow amble in the fresh air, just you and your horse, you make a space in your head, you become more alert, you notice what’s happening and suddenly your focus returns. You just know what’s right.

This May, I challenge you to bring on the empty horses, take a long hard look at your stable of business ideas and products and decide who gets put out to grass and who is going to join you for the ride of your life.

Enjoy

Jo